WASHINGTON: Where should producing, processing and retail sales of marijuana take place in the city?
That’s the question the Policy Planning Commission began to answer during its July 25 public hearing. There, the zoning rules for future marijuana businesses were first unveiled.
With the passage of voter Initiative 502 last fall, recreational usage of marijuana was legalized. The initiative called for the state Liquor Control Board to regulate the new market and set rules for permits. According to the agenda bill discussed at the public hearing, local governments still have control over establishing business practices.
“The Liquor Control Board will review license applications for compliance with state laws and rules, but will not interfere with local government zoning powers,” it reads. “Consequently, Issaquah should be prepared to provide appropriate direction to prospective applicants regarding local zoning regulation of licensed marijuana facilities.”
City Associate Planner Jason Rogers presented the draft proposals for which zoned sections of the city would possibly welcome growers, manufacturers and marijuana stores.
“It’s not like you could walk into a grocery store and there would be a marijuana section,” Rogers said.
Retail stores would be allowed in urban core designated regions, as long as they are 1,000 feet from schools, recreation centers, public parks and public transit hubs.
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“This pretty much encompasses most of the commercial regions in Issaquah,” Rogers said. “Almost everything south of Interstate 90 is buffered out.”